Alum Creek Greenway Trail


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Alum Creek Greenway Trail Facts

States: Ohio
Counties: Franklin
Length: 25.2 miles
Trail end points: Just south of Polaris Pkwy (Westerville) and Three Creeks Park near Spangler Rd., 0.1 mile south of Watkins Rd. (Groveport)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6121471
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Alum Creek Greenway Trail Description

The Alum Creek Greenway Trail takes you through a scenic landscape from Westerville through Columbus to Groveport, with easy access to adjoining neighborhoods and a multitude of public parks to enjoy. While the trail crosses busy suburban areas, your proximity to the winding and picturesque Alum Creek—with its many bridges in a range of architectural styles—physically and mentally removes you from the hustle and bustle.

The paved path is appropriate for all levels of users, and it provides great signage and enough amenities to facilitate a smooth biking or walking experience. As you ride along, you’ll appreciate the continuity maintained by several underpasses beneath major roadways; in fact, there is only one short section (at approximately the midpoint of the trail) where you are briefly routed onto a sidewalk to cross a busy intersection.

The trail’s first 7 miles, from its northern end in Westerville to Easton Town Center in Columbus, offers a plethora of dining and shopping options. This section also traverses Strawberry Farms Park, where you cross the creek on a lovely double-arch bridge.

About midway, the trail skirts the Ohio Dominican University campus. From there, the southern end of the greenway takes you through Bexley, which has a charming arts district. You’ll continue on through the preserved natural areas of Three Creeks Park, a perfect location for some rest and relaxation with picnic areas, boat access, and walking trails, as well as a connection to the nearly 18-mile Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail.

As you travel on the Alum Creek Greenway Trail, you can also learn about the incredible history of active transportation, celebrated with plaques and bridges along the path, honoring such important figures as African American bike racer Marshall “Major” Taylor and Ohio to Erie Trail project founder Ed Honton. The greenway is part of the statewide Ohio to Erie Trail, which will eventually span more than 300 miles as it continues north to Cleveland and south to Cincinnati from Columbus.

Parking and Trail Access

At the northern end of the trail, you can park in Alum Creek Park North (221 W. Main St., Westerville) and take a short connector trail across Alum Creek to the start of the Alum Creek Greenway Trail. From I-270, take Exit 27 and head north on Cleveland Ave. In 1.2 miles turn right onto Main St., traveling east about 0.3 mile to reach the park, which will be on your right. Find parking along Alum Park Dr.

At the southern end of the trail, park in Three Creeks Park (3860 Bixby Road, Groveport). From I-70, take Exit 103B and head south on Alum Creek Dr. about 3.1 miles; then turn left onto Watkins Road. The road heads east, then curves south after a short distance; when you come to an intersection in 0.6 mile, continue straight onto Spangler Road for another 0.1 mile. Turn left at the Three Creeks Park sign and follow this park entrance road past a series of parking lots; park at the third parking lot as it’s closest to the Alum Creek Greenway Trail. From the corner of the parking lot, pick up the paved connector trail that heads east, past the playground, to Alum Creek; cross the creek and you’ll be on the Alum Creek Greenway Trail.

Additional parking can be found within many of the parks along the Alum Creek Green-way Trail.

Alum Creek Greenway Trail Reviews

This is a very nice trail system. It has some sunny and some shady areas, and keeps pretty well to Alum Creek. I have never been on this trail and was a weekend visitor. What I want to share is that I felt like the signage for the trails at the junctions was not adequate. Well, nonexistent. There were several side trails to various athletic areas and parks, but no real signage to direct the rider. I looked over the online map before venturing out. But if you don't have a map in front of you, it is easy to get turned around. I actually went up a driveway that had the same asphalt as the trail. Oops. Anyway, its not intuitive for an out-of-towner.

We started at the Easton soccer fields. Unfortunately we parked in the northern lot Park in the southern lot and you won’t have a short ride on Sunbury Road. Sunbury is very busy an may I say scary to ride. The trail is beautiful, shady, clean and well marked. There are very few crossings and only a few tree roots. We detoured into Bexley and enjoyed views of the beautiful homes. It’s a Fun ride that we do ride again.

My husband and I were going to park in Alum Creek North Park but due to limited Parking we went across the street to Astronaut Park were there were plenty of spaces. We weren't sure where the trail began and be advised the locals do not refer to it as a/the "greenway" and all the signs label it as Alum Creek Trail. There is a bike path behind Astronauts' Park that goes under the bridge and comes up in Alum Creek North Park take that then continue to your left and to crossing over the bridge where you will see a sign labeled "ALUM CREEK TRAIL" on your left . Then off you go. There are several off shoots on this trail and they all appear to be marked. The farther you go the better the signage becomes. You will eventually see white lettering on the trail itself for "ALUM CREEK NORTH" or "ALUM CREEK SOUTH" with arrows -especially when another trail converges. Most times the Alum Creek Trail has dashes separating the lanes. We rode about 12 miles out in total ( with a few side detours to check out the sights) and turned around where Sunbury Rd hits Sunbury Ridge Dr. The trail was beautiful and in only a very few places did we see any trash on it. Once we got away from Westerville we also saw few people on the trail. This trail is a jewel and not to be missed. It feels as if you are isolated in the woods running along a creek for most of the ride. There is a long board walk that passes through a marshy wetland area and several bridges over rushing water and parks and golf courses along it. There had been heavy rain a few days before we visited and you could see the water had in some spots run over the trail as there was mud in spots. We were on mountain bikes so no problems and road bikes would be fine. On June 25, 18 there was a HUGE black sewer pipe running along the side of the trail and over bridges for a segment while a sewer project is underway. The workers were very careful with their equipment while we were passing and other than seeing the pipe we didn't have any issues with it. The trail has curves, slight ups and downs and a lot of wonderful visual interest. You will pass under a series of underpasses/bridges, over arched bridges, along parks, golf courses, office buildings, and apartments, but the majority seem to be lovely green space/woods and this is just the area we traveled. We had very few street crossing and they are well marked with cross walks and buttons. This is by far the nicest trail I have biked in a urban setting. What a wonderful asset for this area! I will be back!!!


Very pretty trail from Westerville south to Three Creeks Park. A trail of bridges--more than other local trails for the distance travelled. So far, in good shape, but much of this trail is new so one would expect it to be. Far less traffic than the Olentangy Trail to the west, so for a north-south route in the metro Columbus area, hard to beat.

My husband and I enjoyed biking along this trail for the first time for Memorial Day today. This scenic, well marked trail was a pleasure to ride. We started in Bexley on Main Street and rode approximately 11 miles north to Westerville. Riding along the creek and in the woods provided lots of shade on a sunny day. All the bridges we rode over were awesome. We can't wait to go further north next time as we will start at the Easton soccer fields and venture further north.

Very nice ride. Trail in great shape. A little confusing starting out from Nelson Run Park going south. Once you get out of town good to go. Starting from Nelson Run Park going south a little challenging get on the way back as you're dealing with a little bit of a grade. All in all a beautiful ride.

Very well-maintained trail with an assortment of eclectic bridges. Rougher in only a few places but we were able to keep a good pace on most of it. Lots of courteous walkers, bikers & runners. Fairly well marked, lacking in a few places but easy to get back on track.

I have been everywhere on the trail from Otterbein to Three Creeks park, I took the connected Blacklick trail all the way to Blacklick Metro Park.

It's really beautiful across the whole trail.


--There has been a detour around Capital University for a while (However, it's well marked

--Crossing 5th avenue is a pain

-- The trail was closed at Hayden park, with a sign that said pedestrians prohibited. There were no detour signs.

--Around Easton, the trail gets really bumpy, and the sidewalk into Easton is extremely bumpy, and not good for biking.


-- The trail goes under most roads, and bridges are awesome.

--Bridges are awesome and there are about 999 bridges on this trail, of all sorts and sizes

--The trail is fairly well kept, there was no broken glass or anything

--The trail is nice and wide, and beautiful

--The trail connects to a lot of other awesome trails

--Scenery is amazing

-- It's hilly, and curvy in a good way.

Discovered the greenways very recently when I was looking for a place to get back into skating. Currently am very happy with the Alum Creek Greenway Trail, Northern portion. The pavement is good for skating and usually free of debris, though there are patches of dust/dirt occasionally. There is a major road with traffic cross at Westerville Road and Cooper, watch for the bump-textured ramps.

Don't both going south through the Easton Fields portion of the trail, it is in far worse condition with sections hazardous for skating over. And even if you make it past the field segment, there is then a boardwalk segment that I tried to skate across but could not, and had to turn back.

However, I am so far very pleased with the trail from Morse Road up to Casto Park. I have walked up into the Westerville portions, but not yet skated; road smoothness looked good for skating at least to past Sharon Woods. Will update as I continue to explore.

Beautiful area with trails in great shapes. The Plains is a friendly little town that will serve good food and will help fix your bike.

A beautiful trail along the Alum Creek, winding through greenbelt and suburbs. Mostly flat, with occasional road crossings and underpasses.

The Westerville portion of the trail from Polaris south to I-270 is very well maintained. Most of the Columbus Metro Park portion is also well-maintained. I-270 through Franklin Park (Broad Street) has a few rough spots, but also several sections recently repaved. Some sections flood after heavy rains. Check out for closed segments.

Love this trail! Usually start at first intersection south of 70, and ride south to the blacklick creek trail then head east on that trail to end of pavement. Just a beautiful ride, with forest, wetlands, deer, bald eagles, wow! Around 28 miles round trip with that combination. Really don't care for the ride north though, above 70. Have to cross busy streets, and it is very clear that Bexley neglects its stewardship over its portion of the trail. Once you get beyond Bexley northbound it gets decent again

The Westerville to Easton portion is very pretty. The path is always well maintained.

We've seen herons, turtles, a raccoon, deer and a couple of garter snakes.

The soccer fields at Easton can be somewhat challenging if a tournament is being played. Fans will stand on the path and unsupervised kids can be running about.

Overall, highly recommended.


I have ridden all sections of this trail several times and enjoy the rides every time. The trails are always clean, smooth, and well cared for. I have had the opportunity to see several beautiful deers peeking through the leaves at me at various locations as I ride by along the way. Such an outstanding site. I haven't had the chance to ride very many other trails, but this one has captured my passion so far.

I have ridden this trial several times from Polaris to the very end at Easton. I am keeping a close watch on the construction of the link to take us on to Innis Park and further. Trail is smooth, clean, and well cared for. Plenty of Mother Nature along the way to see. I honestly believe this is the most continuous enjoyment I have experienced since I rode my 10 speed on the streets of central Ohio through out the 70s. Fix the ole' bike or get a new bike and get going!!!

I just found this site and I am a new rider and really liking this site so far. I am definitely going to be checking out the trail hopefully next weekend. If anyone is wanting to ride let me know.

just found these trails and love them. would like to do more riding but would feel safer with a partner.

Rode this trail for the first time today. Started in westerville on Main st and rode all the way to the Blacklick trail ending at Pickerington Ponds.All total 75 miles! Very scenic and curving. A large storm was the night before and there was much debris on the path. Coming back, the debris had all been cleared off!
I did not like the 2 stretches which require you to ride on Sunbury rd. Fast driving cars with no berm. There was construction going on to complete the path from Easton to Innis rd. So hopefully soon.I look forward to riding this again.

We parked at Franklin Park and rode the trail south since the bridge to the north is under reconstruction and closed. After a couple miles, the trail is less urban and becomes a delightful ride. I liked how the path curves, offering new views as you go. After the return ride, we stopped at the Rusty Bucket (a block from where the trail crosses Main Street) for some food and beer. Take a look at the outdoor gardens at the Franklin Conservatory,too. You can ride your bike around in the park. The gardens are a nice mix of veggies, herbs, flower and hardscape features.

We picked the trail up in Westerville and headed south. Not much to look at and the trail suddenly stopped at the soccer fields down by Easton. I also don't think it was well marked and we had to turn around a couple of times. The trail does continue on but you have to ride on Sunbury road for a half mile...which is dangerous. It also has another mile gap somewhere down by the airport.

I would like to give the south end of this trail a chance, starting at Ohio Dominican College.

In 2012 a one mile section was completed extending the trail south from Ballyvaughn Dr to Mock Rd, Bethesda Ave near Brittany Hills. This features: a new wooden bridge(at Mock Rd), at-grade crossing of Sunbury Rd & dedicated trailhead parking lot (Brittany Hills, near Valley Dale ball room). In addition a 1/5 mile extension was built with boardwalk through the far north end of Innis Park woodlands(just south of Champions golf course).

Last two missing sections - 1.1 mi between Airport Dr & Bethesda and .5 mi between Easton Way/soccer fields & Columbus Innis Park/Champions golf course - are in engineering design stage. City of Cols Rec & Parks should bid with construction starting in late 2013, hopefully complete in 2015. See CRPD map (Note- city's posted e-route is not entirely accurate).

CRPD link to Alum Creek Greenway Trail info with detailed maps - north & south sections. city hasn't updated site in awhile)

I ride the northern portion of this trail often. There is a significant gap (probably 2-3 miles)between the north and south that cannot be safely navigated by bicycle, as it would require you to ride on a curvey Sunbury Rd, which has no berm. While the north end of the trail is nice and connects with other trails leading even further north, it would be nice if one could actually ride the entire 26 (+/-) miles listed. I hope the connection is created soon

It's okay for an urban greenway. It meanders around a bit, but most greenways do. There is one short loop north of Three Creeks Park that I missed the right turn off to continue North. I ended up back where I was 10 minutes earlier, and it was a strange feeling to be going in a circle and not know it.

@ Clarence - the Alum Creek Trail southern terminus in 3 Creeks Park near Groveport has long ago seamlessly connected (actually turns into) the Blacklick Trail (by the park's confluence). From that point users can travel towards Blacklick Metro Park. All mostly should be a contiguous shared-use path route by end of 2012 or in 2013, as two construction phases of Blacklick Trail sections are preseently underway by Metro Parks.

This is my second favorite trail in Columbus. It has lots of current and future potential when it comes to other trails nearby: Just east on Schrock Rd. is the Ohio-Erie trail, going about 6 miles or so on north. Just west at its north end, go to Cleveland Ave. and south to Sharon Woods Metro Park--there is a challenging trail--two steep uphills. When the two ends are linked, this trail will link to the Blacklick Trail and REALLY be a long one. There is a link on rural roads from Cook Park to Olentangy Trail--I am not sure all the signs directing you are in place, though.
The most likely place you might find a detour is under Schrock Rd. bridge, which means crossing busy Schrock Rd.

My husband and I just rode this section of the Alum Creek Greenway today. The online maps were sketchy as to what was finished and what wasn't, so we just decided to go. The area is now completely paved, although not finished with lines. There are several small up and down hills to get to the bridges, along with sharp turns. I used to ride Sharon Woods Metro park as a kid, and TOSRV. This was a very PLEASURABLE ride, along with good exercise. The bridges really are beautiful.
Tip: The trail does end suddenly, right into the Dominion homes village.

We both REALLY look forward to when this trail will be completed.

The Alum Creek Multi-Use Trail (South) runs from Three Creeks Metro Park north to Airport Drive where it dead ends beneath a bridge. The Alum Creek Multi-Use Trail (North) runs from the soccer fields parking lot near the intersection of Easton Way and Sunbury Roads north to Heritage Park in Westerville. As of this date, the two segments are not yet connected.

This is a review of the Alum Creek Multi-Use Trail (North) trail.

To ride this trail, park at the soccer fields parking lot located at 40-02.805N and 082-55.866W where the northern trail begins just north of Innis Park. The trail runs between the soccer fields and Sunbury Road before crossing Alum Creek and diving into the woods. The trail hugs Alum Creek for most of its length as it passed through Parkridge Park, then it crosses a bridge into Tanager Park and Strawberry Farms Parks. Continuing north it crosses another bridge, dips under SR-161 then crosses yet another bridge into Casto Park. As it continues north, the trail stops at Westerville where cyclists must cross at the light. This is the first of two street crossings on this northern segment of the trail. From there, the trail runs through the entire length of Cooper Park behind some nicely-maintained apartments and then across the S-Bridge and under I-270. It continues north crossing the creek one more time, goes around Otterbein Lake, and crosses West Main Street before reaching Heritage Park in Westerville where the northernmost point on the trail is found at 40-07.944N and 082-56.650W.


(1) North of I-270, the trail passes under W. Schrock Road although it is gated off due to flood damage. A detour forces cyclists to go up to the road and to try to cross a very busy stretch or to go way out of the way to cross at the light. Although busy, I darted across. Coming south I realized that it's possible and much safer to go under the road. Sandy mud from flooding left significant deposits under the road making it appear impassible. The dry mud, though, is now merely dry sand and easy to walk through. I strongly recommend this safer route despite the Trail Closed signs. Hundreds of tracks suggest that other cyclists agree.

(2) On maps it appears that parking is scarce, although in reality there is plentiful parking in every park along the entire length of the trail including at both the southernmost and northernmost parks.

(3) There are quite a few side trails leading off into adjacent neighborhoods and only a few of them are well-marked. When in doubt, take the route closest to the creek.

I thoroughly enjoyed riding this trail because I normally ride the very straight rails-to-trails and the Alum Creek trail is anything but straight. The entire route is a slalom with constant curves left and right and numerous bridge crossings. And the bridges themselves are wide, photogenic, and fun to ride across...expecially the S-Bridge. Mountain bikers will notice dozens of singletracks leaving the main trail that are just begging to be explored while road bikers will use the trail to hone their cornering skills.

I'll upload some pictures that I took today.

Another 2.5 miles of added trail segement will be completed by end of 2010 on Alum Creek Trail. This falls between Columbus Innis Park (north off Innis Road) and Ballyvaughn at Sunbury Rd (Stone Cliff development) just north of Mock Road. Path features four unique bridges following along scenic Alum Creek riparian corridor. Dedicated flat SUP, pictureresge, very quiet, no roadway intersections. But just watch out for golf balls from the adjacent Bridgeview Golf Course driving range.

Stay tuned...1 mile remains to be built to the south, to connect with Airport Dr- by Ohio Dominican University: and 1/2 mile length to the north between Easton soccer fields and Innis Park. Columbus has financing to construct these last two missing links, hopefully in 2011-2012. At which time this entire greenway trail will be complete in metro Columbus!

Although there in no red line drawn on the related map, when one zooms in on the map, this same trail (as part of the Ohio to Erie Trail) continues via Everal Barn Park to the north following the east side of Cleveland Ave or alternately loops through Westerville Sports Complex/soccer fields (Alum Creek river coridor), to Maxtown Rd/Polaris Parkway. On the way bikers can go east/west onto County Line Road (south side) or ultimately east along the the south side of Maxton Rd. Where it will intersect with a north/south 'Genoa Trail' / 'Westerville Bikeway' / main stem of 'Ohio to Erie Trail'
at McCorkle Blvd and Northgate Way

It will be 14-19 when complete but right now it ends below the Easton soccer fields. GPS logged 8.9 miles from the Westerville Sports Complex to Panera at Easton, so drop a mile or so of Easton and Westerville gives ~7 of the official Alum Creek trail. The construction in front of the Fire station is finished and the bikeway open so no detours anymore. I liked this one because there is something at the end (Easton) where you ride other trails and they dead end in the middle of nowhere so you just turn around and ride back, here you can ride to Easton and shop at one or two stores that are exclusive to Easton.
The only bike racks I've found were between Panera and the Roll: bike store, are there any others?

One trail list on this site says this is a 19 mile trail - another on this site says 14 miles. IT IS 7 miles. Even numerous stubs to subdivisions would not approach 14 or 19 miles. Generally well maintained. Interesting variation of urban/creek bed. Narrow - several hikers,etc. think you do trails as though you were on an English road, opposite side. Great local resource for residents. If you are in this neck of the woods and want a very short ride this is nice.

This dedicated paved 'Greenway' trail - with two completed sections - runs through multiple jurisdictions, primarily following the scenic Alum Creek river riparian corridor. Very family friendly flat terrain running through many city and metro parks and woodlands.
The few at-grade crossings have traffic signals with crosswalks. This trail is part of a longer contiguous MUP system, Blacklick trail to the south by Groveport in Three Creeks Park (confluence) and to the northern part of Westerville (Delaware County) where it hooks up with the Genoa Trail (a rail to trail).

For various maps, aerials, many photos, and futher descriptions:

1) The northern end runs from Westerville to Easton soccer fields in NE Columbus:
From the northern most end, the trail starts at Polaris Parkway along the eastside of Cleveland Ave.
There is parral path to the west along the east side of Alum Creek though it is in stages of being built.
At County Line Rd (at-grade crossing) bikers may continue due south detour to the west following the path around the soccer fields and Alum Creek. You'll pass the Westrerville Community Center on the east side - great stop for restrooms, AC, indoor swim, etc. Both paths then join up along the bridge crossing the Alum Creek river. Immediately turn east onto and then follow the path to the south. (You may detour for a 1 mile loop through wooded Heritage Park). Note the restored Everal Barn and ponds with plenty of frogs. Hang a left through parking lot & right behind the Westerville firestation, squeeze through the fence, and turn right in the next parking lot to cross W. Main Street (at-grade crossing) at Collegeview Rd. Turn left, east, onto W Main for one block along wide sidewalk and then make next right - back onto dedicated paved trail.

There's a large overhead dam spillway to your left over the levee across from restored pond to your right. Coyotes have been sighted around these fields in the late evening, they won't hurt you. Note the historic metal bridge span that was recycled and moved here from the western side of Franklin County in the 1990's. You'll pass by an outdoor BMX bicycle dirt course (Westerville's Alum Creek Park-South), try it out if you dare. There's an adjacent very cool skateboard park featuring two concrete bowls. Bike below Shrock Road if hasn't rained recently - careful of mud & silt; otherwise if underpass gate is closed - take detour path ramp to the left to cross over Schrock Road (for safety - use traffic signal at Park Meadow). As you approach I-270 underpass note you are entering Columbus. Bike through more woodlands, a park preserve. You'll cross a very unique S-shaped concrete bridge - highly engineered courtesy of ODOT. Look for beaver, kingfishers, and other interesting wildlife in this recently surbanized area. You'll travel through Cooper Park- (watch out for spectators/kids using the path in this often busy area), cross over SR-3/Westerville Rd (at-grade crossing), look for signs of beaver that taken down the landscape trees, Casto Park, travel under SR-161/E. Dublin Granville Rd, cross over Alum Creek through Strawberry Farms Park- be on the lookout for deer and owls - Tanager Woods Park, cross over Alum Creek through the edge of Parkridge Park, cross under Morse Rd. Pit stop and ice cream available on the SE side of river at UDF! Cross over Alum Creek again - pause at bridge look for muskrats foraging along the river banks, run along the perimeter of the Easton soccer fields (look out for spectators/kids using the path). Past Easton Crossing trailhead to the southern end of the fields where the northern end of the Alum Creek trail currently dead-ends. There is a 3.5 mile gap - that will be completed in three project segments around 2011 - to hook up with the existing south central AC trail at Airport Drive by Ohio Dominican Un (Sunbury Rd). If you have the energy for an outdoor shopping adventure along with large variety of many restaurants - bike upgrade onto Easton Way, turn left into Easton Towne Center & enjoy it, you've earned it before you turn around to retrace your wheelin.

Stay tuned for part 2: The central southern end runs from Columbus Airport Dr, through Bexley, over Broad & Main Streets and through the huge 3 Creeks Park by Groveport.

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